Max Hyatt, JD/MBA Dual Degree Program '16

Law in the Fast Lane

Max Hyatt changed career lanes to pursue international corporate law, leaving race car driving in his rear view mirror.

Max Hyatt used to be a race car driver. Now he's getting a joint degree in law and business at USF. It seems incongruous — until you talk to Max.

“I’ve had to explain that one a lot,” he says. "Motorsports is a multibillion-dollar global industry, with very intricate relationships between drivers, teams and sponsors. Those are all legally based relationships that need counsel. It's a very strange niche most people don't think about."

His racing career stopped because his team lost its sponsor. "It was pretty rough because that was my life for six years. I went through a bit of an identity crisis. USF gave me a home while I figured it out.

Max, who is 28 and grew up in Santa Fe, just finished his third year and has one more to go. His interest has expanded to international corporate law, combining classes in business law and international comparative law. In 2013, he studied different rules of law in Dublin and Prague. Last summer, he worked in the Ho Chi Minh office of Baker & McKenzie, a multinational law firm.

"I want to make it easier for companies to take down barriers in cross-border transactions," Max says.

He says the joint degree will make him bilingual — conversant with the languages of business and law — and allow him to serve as a mediator between attorneys and their business clients.

His business studies have added breadth. “I love sitting in classes and hearing a completely different perspective from a foreign student,” Max says. “And it is presented in an environment where we can explore each way of thinking on equal footing.”

The business school has a tremendously diverse community, which is essential for the global business market we are entering."

He credits USF, especially its international externship office, for offering the opportunity to work in Europe and Asia.

"Most law schools are nationally focused," Max says. "But USF is a leader in expanding globally and creating opportunities abroad, especially in the legal field. Going abroad has changed a lot of things about me."

Max is deeply immersed in extracurricular activities, including the USF Business Law Association, USF Law Review, and the Student Bar Association.

“There's a huge disconnect between what law students learn and what you actually end up doing," Max says. "USF gets students out in the job market to see what it takes to be a real lawyer. It's not like this for my friends in other law schools.”